July 13th, 2008
05:30 PM ET
10 years ago

Obama not worried he's too preachy

Barack Obama says he does not worry about coming off as too preachy in his speeches.

Barack Obama says he does not worry about coming off as too preachy in his speeches.

SAN DIEGO, California (CNN) – Barack Obama says he hasn’t spoken to Rev. Jesse Jackson since the pastor was caught by an open mic saying that Obama is “talking down to black people,” and using a vulgar expression to vent his feelings about the candidate.

“I had spoken to him before, a few days before,” Obama told a gaggle of reporters aboard his campaign plane, “and we had actually discussed some of the concerns he had raised about my fatherhood speech.”

Obama spoke at an African-American church on Father’s Day and took black absentee fathers to task for shirking their responsibilities.

“I told [Jackson] that I absolutely believe that we have structural inequalities in this country that have to be dealt with,” said Obama. “We also have to recognize that there is a particular problem when more than a half of African-American children are growing up without a father in the house and often times not even knowing their father.”

“That is a problem and I won’t back up one bit in asserting that that’s a problem that we have to be honest about,” he added.

Asked how Jackson replied, Obama told CNN, “I think it would be hard for him to disagree with that since many of the things I have said are the things that he has said in the past.”

When a reporter remarked that bad fathering isn’t something that can be fixed by a federal policy, Obama responded that his June speech sparked a conversation and has given him “something of a bully pulpit.”

“I do think part of the role of president is to offer his or her opinions about critical issues, not all of which can be solved by government, but make a big difference in the quality of our society. That doesn’t mean that we’re going to solve these problems overnight, but I’d like to think that if a president says that something’s important, that some people might pay some attention.”

But does he worry about coming off as too preachy?


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (538 Responses)
  1. Jan From Boca Raton, Fl

    Of course Obama dosen't think he is too preachy, he learned from

    his mentor Rev. Wright

    July 13, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  2. Timber

    Nobama is SO in love with himself.

    July 13, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  3. Timber

    Why is no media outlet releasing the full text of what Jesse Jackson said?! The media is so biased toward Obama.

    July 13, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  4. Lisa

    For the record, Jesse Jackson never liked Barack Obama, maybe as a friend but never as a President.

    Hillary 08!

    July 13, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  5. baljeet

    I totaly agree with Jesse Jackson about barak obama. Talk is cheap action is hard . We need a leader not a preacher.

    July 13, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  6. rachel

    The more Obama and Jesse talk the more I think this is calculated. Obama your really milking this, yes the message is okay but you DO come off as an ivy league snob, but us blacks shouldn't take offense because the snobbish Obama also has contempt for bitter rual white people who cling to religon and guns. Obama and Jesse you two planned this.

    July 13, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  7. jane in CA

    Sen. Obama speaks the truth and will be a role model for blacks or whites or browns. Great country is built from people within and our young people need to be brought up with a good family foundation.

    July 13, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  8. Roy Stureen

    Presumably Rev Jackson feels that speaking in crude and vulgar terms is the only way one can speak to blacks on their level. And that the most appropriate response to someone with whom one disagrees is to resort to threats of violence, either physical or rhetorical. I suggest the Rev refresh his biblical roots with Ephesians 4:29-32.

    July 13, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  9. Lisa

    If you go back to the archives Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpten wanted Hillary to the nomination. When Barack stole it from her they were rightfully upset. I guess there goes the notion that all African Americans voted for Barack because he's black!!

    Jesse Jackson had a very close relationship with Bill Clinton, they were like best friends, LOL! Bill did more for the African American community then Obama ever has in his entire adult life.

    July 13, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  10. Rob indetroit

    Thank's Jesse.

    July 13, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  11. Nia

    I think this is a problem for all races, not just the black race.

    Obama 08

    July 13, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  12. Foreign observer

    He is just honest and not colour blind when watching the objectives. Very essential for a President Obama. Thats a non race related jugdement.

    July 13, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  13. Joe Reed

    As a lifelong Republican I have been disappointed with my party's behavior over the last 8 years. This year I am voting for Barack Obama for President of the United States of America.

    July 13, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  14. another whiner

    it's his duty to be honest to america,and he is.those who disagree dont even listen,or dont care,regardless.he is the most honest politician i ever seen.anyone who disagrees with me is wrong.

    July 13, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  15. MCR

    Apparently, Obama is not relating to a significant percentage of "black people."

    July 13, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  16. Maggie

    Obama is getting on my nerves now. He keeps talking like if he is already president. I want to have the last laugh on him when he is defeated in November by McCain. He reminds me so much of George W. Bush as being so arrogant that I don't want to listen to whatever he says.

    July 13, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  17. uuuugh!!

    still on Jesse CNN? well i guess that is far more important than Gramm saying we are a Nation of whiners

    July 13, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  18. Georgia for Obama

    Obama is 100% on point with this.

    July 13, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  19. Kevin

    Obama was right and Jesse Jackson was flat wrong.

    July 13, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  20. CMS

    While not a fan of Barak; its good to see someone able to stand up to Rev Jackson. Now if he could only stop having to throw everyone he is affiliated with under the campaign bus.

    July 13, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    Oh come on senator Obama, we all know this and the whole bernie mac controversy are just things u want to be in the news for a while to keep the stories away from your insane amounts of flip flopping. like with guns, with thw fisa especially, equal pay since u dont pay the women in your campaign as much, and basically every other thing you said in the primary season. Dont think I have forgotte the sexit way you competed either. You are the worst democratic nomiee this countr has ever seen and you were not democratically elected. Another democrat fr mccain here!

    July 13, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  22. Melissa, New York, NY

    It's refreshing to see a presidential candidate that holds the American people to a higher standard. Call it preachy if you want. I'll take it.

    July 13, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  23. randy

    Well said.i support you president barack obama.

    July 13, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  24. dollah124

    what obama should have said is the women in the black community need to realize just because your not with the father he still has rights.so many times i see the woman keeping the man out of the child's life except for child support.i have friend thats been going to court for seven years and has yet to see his children once.i went to court to set up child support and visitation rights i was told child support is not needed unless asked for by my childs mother.visitation was not granted because she never showed up for any hearings and the courts put no teeth behind their order so i left and never went back.who fault is that mine?i don't think so the more i learn about obama the more i dislike him this guy is a fraud he's like a bad song being played over and over until you sing along. ralph nader is sounding better by the day .jesse jackson had the right idea except not his private parts but his vocal cords.

    July 13, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  25. La Chatte, Portland, OR

    PUMA! Obama will lose, fortunately, even if it means putting up with McCain for four years. Let's just hope the progressive Dems who get elected to Congress will have more guts than the current crop of wussies because we're going to need them to render grid lock until the next presidential election.

    July 13, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
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